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Goodnight, Columbus: Putting Your Lawn to Bed for the Winter

by Gabby Hyman, All About Lawns Columnist

In Columbus, Ohioans are glued to their televisions all fall, watching their Buckeyes pursue the collegiate football championship. But hopefully, before you settle into the sofa, you've made plans for having your lawn emerge healthy and green come springtime. In central Ohio, late November is the last opportunity for getting in your winterizing fertilizer.

Before it gets a blanket of snow, make sure your lawn has its bedtime snack. You'll want to use a compound of N-P-K (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) for optimal results. Complete fertilizers with ratios of 3:1:2, 4:1:2, and 5:1:2 are best suited for Ohio lawns. If you're not sure which kind is best for your grass, check with a local lawn care expert. Most Ohio homeowners prefer turf-type tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, and Kentucky bluegrass.
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  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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Plan Next Year's Lawn Care Now

During halftime, while the tuba player is dotting the "i" in Ohio, grab a pad of paper and jot down the following general schedule for tending your lawn in the new year:
  • First Signs of Spring:
    In early March, look for fresh blades of grass emerging in the ground. As soon as you have two to two-and-a-half inches of lawn, it's time for your first mowing. It's a good time to either rake up remnants of fallen leaves or chop them up in the mowing.
  • April and May:
    Aerate the lawn if the ground has compounded under the snowpack. Pull early emerging weeds or apply herbicidal soaps in selected-spot treatment. Continue mowing the lawn at two-inch intervals.
  • June and July:
    Plan for diligent monitoring for insects, including bluegrass billbug, sod webworm and chinch bug. Irrigate as needed. Continue spot lawn herbicidal or hand-pull weed treatments.
  • August and September:
    Follow same lawn plan for June and July, but add one overall lawn fertilizing and do some over-seeding if needed for the winter.
With these tips, you can huddle up for the winter knowing that your lawn will be ready to go when baseball season starts.

About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys,, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.

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